Archive for the ‘Project Management’ Category

“Google Slap” and other silly myths

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011

Google doesn’t have the time or resources to hunt down a website that is using black or gray hat techniques — They simply change their algorithm to be a bit smarter.  e.g. if you repeat your keyword 5000 times on a single page, they detect it and give you no credit.

Much of the Google algorithms are geared towards promoting the obvious good and trying their best to filter out the obvious bad.

The more obscure the keyword, the bolder you can be.  If you’ve a somewhat obscure or true niche keyword, you can probably be pretty bold and delve into somewhat gray-hat techniques to promote it.  Think about it… if there are only three sites in the world with a keyword, Google is more about promoting the most popular than filtering out the imposters.  Three is a silly number, but you get the idea. Google isn’t going to hunt you down if you are the only one selling “bent 1976 pennies”.

Bottom line advice:  If you are in a real niche’, don’t be so paranoid.  Get yourself some questionable back links and see your site rise to the top.

I can spot a bad design a mile away

Friday, August 6th, 2010

I spent most of my afternoon wrestling with one of the most convoluted and unfriendly programs I have seen in quite a while. 

Sometimes, being a software engineer and understanding a bit about the internals, I can be more understanding or at least sympathize with technical challenges.   Some things, in spite of all of our wonderful technology, are inherently difficult or awkward to implement.  I get that.  But in this case, it was just bad design.  

When I was through being frustrated, I was just sad. 

Sloppy engineering just makes me sad. 

If you can’t do something right, don’t do it at all.  Really.

Synergy of Things

Wednesday, August 4th, 2010

 It’s way too easy to be overwhelmed by all the things that you should be doing. 

 Have hope.  There is a way out!

I’m currently noodling with marketing strategies and honestly am overwhelmed.  That said,  I have a plan.  A plan that I have seen work again and again — So am confidently pressing forward.

 In the development world, I use the “done” and “Done-Done'” approach to getting a job completed.   Whether I actually invented it or borrowed it from somewhere matters not … it works.

 The essence of the plan is that a project needs to be “done” long before it is really “Done”.

 Done with a small “d” is that the project hangs together such that the principal decision makers can now peel their way to the REAL requirements.   Done (small d) is a wire frame, with hooks into the good parts, such that everyone  can see the dream and intelligently see what’s missing.

 Complete requirements are a difficult thing. 

 So back to my marketing dilemma… I have a million ideas and limited time and budget.  What to do ?

 Easy, actually.  I will wire-frame the plan, knowing  what needs to be done with each  piece, prioritize, and progress.  Get to done, and know that Done-Done will come later.

 The essence of marketing is the sum of the parts.  No one thing necessarily works or fails — but any one part can easily win the day.

 Confused?  Don’t be.

 Here is the answer;

1. List all of the things that you should or could  be doing

2. Prioritize the list

3. Have a “next step” for everything on the list

4. Start Doing (get to done on each step)

 The key is picking reasonable “Next Steps”. 

 For example, if you need a website, a reasonable next step is to get a simple landing page in place.  The website is done, but certainly not Done-Done.

 Along with my “done-done’ strategy, I also believe in the synergy of nuance. 

 Do what you believe to be true.  The little things, the nuance, create an unstoppable synergy.

 Do.

Win.

Be well.

What Business Can Learn from Field Runners

Friday, June 25th, 2010

If you have a winning strategy (plan) you need patience. If you are saving for a ZOT, the chaos matters not.  If a motorcycle slips through… shrug; you know you will have to take a couple of losses if you are going for the big win. 

If you panic (react to the fray) it means the beginning of the end.  Diverting precious resources to avert a small short term disaster (one escaping motorcycle) will domino into an even bigger disaster in later rounds.

In Round 300, when you are just $20 short of an upgrade to a critical zot that would have stopped five helicopters, you will regret the early round panic.  You will.

Field Runners also teaches us that some strategies are just wrong.  No amount of quick reflexes or strategic tower upgrades will help… given the real world, the plan is just plain flawed and will fail.  If your gut says the plan is flawed… just reset and start fresh.   

So where does that leave our heroes?  If you  have a plan that you are confident in … work the plan.  Resist the temptation to fiddle with a well thought out plan.  Let the rouge motorcycle escape.  It makes you sad, but surviving to round 450 is worth the angst.

Every Project Needs a Hug

Thursday, April 8th, 2010

At the core of every successful project is a champion:  Someone who believes in it and makes work.

Very few have the talent (or sadly the want) to really make things happen.  In most projects, it is way too easy to simply withdraw, rationalize and blame.

A good engineer, a champion, will step forward, assume failure is not an option, and like Nike says — “Just Do It”.

Your challenge:  The next time you are on a floundering project — be the chammpion.  Put your arms around the project, give it a little love, figure out what it needs… then do it.

There are other aspects of “hugging a project” that I will get to in a future post.